LINDA H. AIKEN, R.N., Ph.D.; ROBERT J. BLENDON, Sc.D.; DAVID E. ROGERS, M.D.
There appears to be a critical shortage of hospital nurses in the United States, despite a 15-year national effort to bring the supply of nurses into balance with increased demand. Careful review of supply and requirement data does not provide an adequate explanation for the persistent shortage, and common misconceptions about the nature of the nurse shortage have clouded the debate. Several popular explanations for the shortage do not appear to be valid. Evidence strongly favors the explanation that the shortage has been caused by the depression of nurses' incomes relative to incomes of other workers. The present wage structure has both short- and long-term effects on the shortage of nurses; allowing nurses salaries to rise to levels of comparable workers may be the only solution.
AIKEN LH, BLENDON RJ, ROGERS DE. The Shortage of Hospital Nurses: A New Perspective. Ann Intern Med. 1981;95:365–372. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-95-3-365
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1981;95(3):365-372.
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